The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 15, 2008

Myth/Fact: Five Myths About the House's Failure to Give Our Intelligence Professionals the Tools They Need to Monitor Terrorists Effectively
House Leadership's Decision To Block A Vote On A Bipartisan Senate Solution Will Create Unacceptable Risks To Our National Security

     Fact sheet In Focus: Defense

"House leaders blocked a good piece of legislation that would give our intelligence community the tools they need to protect America from a terrorist attack. … [B]y blocking this piece of legislation our country is more in danger of an attack.  … [T]he House leaders must understand that the decision they made to block good legislation has made it harder for us to protect you, the American people, and we expect them to get a good bill to my desk – which is the Senate bill – as soon as possible."

– President George W. Bush, 2/15/08 

1. MYTH: The future security of our country does not depend on whether Congress provides liability protection for companies being sued for billions of dollars only because they are believed to have assisted the Government in defending America after the 9/11 attacks. 

2. MYTH: Even if the critical tools provided by the Protect America Act expire, the authorizations already in place to monitor terrorist communications will leave the Intelligence Community with all the tools it needs to continue current surveillance and begin new surveillance on any terrorist threat.

3. MYTH: If any new surveillance needs to begin, the FISA court can approve a request within minutes.  In the case of an emergency, surveillance can begin immediately and FISA approval can be obtained later.

4. MYTH: Accepting another temporary extension of the Protect America Act would not endanger our Nation's security.

5. MYTH: The House already passed a carefully crafted bill to modernize FISA, and efforts to bridge the gap between the Senate, White House, and the House and pass this legislation are ongoing.

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